LOWA ACTIVE Team Tobias Karpinski

The late-blooming climbing freak

Tobias Karpinski is something of an exotic member of the LOWA ACTIVE Team. Born in the southern German region of Allgäu, he was basically a child of the mountains – nothing unusual about that. But as a child and a teenager, Tobi wasn’t much interested in scaling them, rather he usually just raced around them on his mountain bike. Down a bit lower from the highest elev­ations, he enjoyed motocross and other motorcycle riding. He came to climbing relatively late in life, at the age of 21. And he’s that much more passionate about it as a result. “Right after my first day of climbing, I was swept off my feet by this great sport, ” he says.

Ever since, man from Allgäu uses just about every spare minute in his life to go mountain climbing, boul­dering or climbing. This is what he loves so much about climbing: The sport is so multi­faceted. It’s always exciting and never boring. His intensive training has already paid off. After two years, he achieved his first extreme-rated climb . He was also a member of the German Alpine Asso­ciation team from 2013 to 2015.

He has gone on to become an offi­cially certified mountain and ski guide as well. Of course, he can pull off all this only by having a job that can accom­modate his passion: Tobi works as a “part-time construction tech­nician” and sacrifices most of his leisure time to his love of the sport. Both came under extreme pressure during a project completed in mid-2016. Three moun­tain­eering buddies and he headed off to the Ruth Glacier in Alaska. Over a period of five weeks, they estab­lished new routes on Mount Bradley and Mount Johnson and completed existing tours.

Facts & figures

Home base:
Offi­cially certified mountain and ski guide
Favourite climbing site:
Tarnschlucht gorge
Local mountain:
Lechtal valley
1,78 m
65 kg

Tobias Karpinski,
Do you have a role model?

“No person in particular. But I am impressed by the achievements of earlier moun­taineers, people like Anderl Heckmair, Hermann Buhl and Emilio Comici. What these Alpinists accom­plished with such inferior material compared to today’s standards is really incredible.”

What other hobbies do you pursue?

“There is not much time left over after moun­tain­eering, training and work. But I do enjoy reading an inter­esting book when I have time.”

Do you have a motto?

“I think Reinhard Karl got it right: “You never really reach the top.” Short and sweet.”

My shoes for…